SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — August 2nd marks the anniversary of the shooting of James Butler Hickok, better known as “Wild Bill” Hickok.
Later this month to commemorate the anniversary, Wild Bill’s gun will be sold at auction and it’s expected to bring a lot of money.
The legendary story of gunslinger and lawman Wild Bill Hickok and where he was shot in Saloon Number 10 in Deadwood, South Dakota has been told countless times, including a story by CBS’s Charles Kuralt.
Hickok’s Smith & Wesson Model No. 2 was reportedly his favorite sidearm and considered one of the Holy Grails of the American West.
It’ll be auctioned off later this month.
Don: What do you think this gun is going to bring?
Joel: The official estimate we have is $150 to $350 thousand dollars we actually just sold a different revolver of Wild Bill’s in our May Premier Firearms Auction that had an estimate of $140 to $225 thousand dollars but it sold for $616 thousand so absolutely shattered our expectations,”
The gun is an iconic collectible for the western firearms collector.
The revolver features the standard 6-inch barrel, blue finish, and rosewood grips. But it’s the history and the stories that are attached to this gun that makes it highly sought after.
“He’s the lawman, he’s the gambler, he’s the drinker, he’s the gunfighter, the scout, the spy, the showman you name it, he’s done it all,” Joel Kolander of Rock Island Auction said.
There’s still a shrine for Hickok inside Saloon Number 10. In fact, an entire wall is dedicated to him and the chair where he was sitting when he was shot by assassin Jack McCall.
As the story goes, Hickok had beaten Jack McCall in gambling the day before and offered to buy him breakfast the following day.
“Jack McCall, he took offense to that and the next day while Wild Bill was playing poker uncharacteristically with his back toward the door, that wasn’t a position he liked to be in, when he went to sit down at the table there was no other spot unfortunately that allowed Jack McCall to get the jump on him and kill him by shooting him in the back of the head in that Number 10 Saloon,” Kolander said.
To learn more about Rock Island Auction Company and when Wild Bill’s Smith & Wesson will be up for auction along with some other collectibles, click here.